CineSavant Column

Saturday July 22, 2023



Here’s a welcome link from UK correspondent Dave Carnegie, to a piece of vintage TV footage. It’s the Jack Benny Program “Honolulu Trip” from September 13, 1953, and his guest star is none other than Marilyn Monroe.

So much has been written about Marilyn’s difficulties while performing, but none of that is in evidence here. This is a live TV situation, and she’s spot on for a skit that runs for minutes. She aces some trick staging. And she sings, too. Perhaps Jack Benny just made her entirely welcome and comfortable.

We hope the skit doesn’t trigger any negative vibes — part of the basic vaudeville-type joke plays off of a ‘fat’ stereotype. I think that performer Maxine Gates is spot-on, myself — we remember her as the waitress at ‘Sarge’s’ in George Stevens’ Giant.

The clip in question:  Jack Benny and Marilyn Monroe

The entire TV show:  “Honolulu Trip”


Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson